Monday, November 23, 2015

My son, Eld. Mahonrai Teancum Toki

Ending our Family Forum last night a call came in and it's a 704 area code.  We were about to say evening prayer so I decided to let it go unanswered and I'll call back after.  Already some foreboding feeling immediately settled in my heart as I am familiar with that North Carolina area code from work.

Sure enough, I called back and it was a Bro. Alexander informing that our son Eld. Toki was involved in a biking accident and was admitted to emergency with a head injury.  He had his helmet on but nonetheless, suffered an injury.  Of course knowing how heavy and compact he is, if he landed on his head then I'm afraid it was fatal.  I think every Missionary mom, in the back of their minds, naturally dread, receiving a call of this nature.  Bro. Alexander informed me that he is in stable condition.  He is alert but there is evident of blood outside his brain.  Luckily, no blood inside his brain but he is in the Neuro-surgeon floor and they are doing the best that they can to monitor and keep him improving.  He is in one of North Carolina's best hospital.

As parents, we are aware of all kinds of risks our children would be facing when they leave home to embark in serving the Lord.  Anything can happen.  We continue to pray endlessly night and day for all our missionaries to be safe.  Even with all our prayers, our children are not immune to danger, risks, accidents and even death.  It is part of life.  They do happen and the only thing that we as a family know best to do, is to fall on our knees in mighty prayer and fasting for our son.  We gathered all our family members and some extended family members and immediately sealed our fasting on his behalf.  Fasting has worked miracles in countless lives of people around me, family and friends.  When we need Heavenly Interventions in our lives, we go without food for 24 hours or however long we want.  So little time in comparison to the answer that will come afterwards.  We weaken our mortal bodies and draw our spirit in prayer begging the Lord for mercy and grace.  Everything is in God's hands now.  My son understands before he left on his mission that anything can happen and have accepted the fact that if he should die or if anything happens to him, he is okay with that.  We do too.

A few nights ago, I dreamt and saw my son Eld. Toki sitting up on his single bed.  He was dressed in white and his bed glowed in whiteness.  So as his whole being.  The only thing that stood out was blood on his chest.  He was just staring at me somehow dazed and I couldn't speak to him.  We just stare at each other.  On the other side of his room was his companion.  Sitting on his bed, same white sleeping clothes but he had no blood stain on his chest.   I woke up, knelt down and said a prayer for my son.  When I received the phone call, all I can think about was the dream I recently had.

It is Missionary Monday to-day.  I wrote my letter last night.  I don't know why I keep checking my email to-day knowing full well my son is in a hospital bed and won't be able to write me.  I live to read his emails every Monday and telling me about his week.  He's not the same boy that left last November.  He has definitely matured spiritually.  Tonight his mission President will call us and give us more detail.  We put all our trust in God that whatever will happen, everything will all work out.

We love our Eld. Toki.  He is an amazing individual.   He loves to sing and he always brings light and sweet melody in our home.  His father's right hand man.  Doing a man's work even when he was just a boy because his father was always sick.  He is so strong and courageous.  He can carry a Refrigerator by himself and in his first area they called him Eld. Refrigerator something.  LOL.  We're so proud of him.  Our Eld. Mahonrai Teancum Toki.  It's a great story of his namesake in the Book of Mormon.  We love and pray for him.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sister Time

Every time I visit my sister's house, she always tells me about her dreams.  I think I've mentioned before in some of my older posts, that she can see our dead relatives.  Especially my mom.  I yearn to see my mom but sadly, for some weird reason she only shows herself to my sister.  So last night, I visited with her and she was telling me a rather funny dream.

She saw that it was Judgement Day and as she was getting ready to pass through the gates of Heaven with her family, a man dressed in white came to them and pointed out a place for them to go.  She saw our mom came and helped her with the kids and the grandchildren and as they were about to leave, the man turned to her husband saying:  "You can not go now.  You're not ready."  My sister was devastated and shocked that her husband can't go with them.  What could he have done to be unworthy to enter Heaven with them?  Whatever sin he committed she said, "I can forgive".  But what had he done?  She was also under the impression that the only one that can save her husband was herself. 

Watching my mom lead her kids and grandchildren away, she turned around and instead of seeing just her husband, she also saw her son oldest son Zack.  Her grief was overwhelming that it woke her up from her dream.  She woke up her husband and explained her dream to him.  The only words that came out of his mouth was:  "See!  I told you I wasn't going to be happy in Heaven.  It's going to be so boring!  There's no football, no TV, no eating etc etc.  All we do is Temple work and work for the dead.  There's no fun in that.  I think I'd rather go to Hell".  As we were cracking up laughing my sister told me she said to him:  "Hell?  Hell where you'll burn forever and you will be running away from Satan who holds a pitchfork to your butt and poke you while you try to run away from him."

My brother-in-law Mo is a character.  He's so funny and one of the sweetest people I know.   It was fun catching up with my sister Lorna Linda.  Our visits are always too short for both of us.  Horror Films and Scary movies are her favorite shows to watch.  I get scared out of my wits when I watch her shows.  It doesn't scare her at all.  This is just one of the many dreams she shares with me when I visit.  I only saw my mother once and she was young and beautiful again.  My sister says the same thing.  Mom is not old at all.  She's young and beautiful.  My sister always reminds me of my mom.  I sure miss my momma.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disciplining

"Mom, you're like a Marshmallow.  She will eat you up for breakfast."  My second daughter said this to me while dropping them off at school.  Between me and my husband, I am the mediator and the peace maker but many times I want to kick myself hard because I can be a pushover when it come to my children and that is not good.  But especially my youngest, she knows she can get away with anything when it comes to me and my husband said that to me this morning. 

We're going through it with our youngest daughter Beverly Shania.  Far left with the Peachy dress.  She's 14 years old and as headstrong and determine as they come.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.  Bev is extremely athletic and smart.  Straight A student and this past few weeks she has given us a run for our money with constant disobedient and disregard to rules that has been specifically given to her.  With the friends she chooses to sloughing school and also loosing her playtime in the school Volleyball team because of that, we had to make ultimatums.

Last Friday we rushed my husband to Emergency.  Monday I let her tryout for the basketball team knowing full well it's against his wishes.  Mainly because I didn't want to break her heart but I did tell her that just because she's trying out doesn't mean her dad will allow her to play which is the biggest mistake I made.  (Marshmallow that I am).  Last night my husband when he was discharged from the hospital and during family prayer, told her she will not be allowed to play basketball and yet she didn't quite grasp what he said.  I saw her this morning getting ready for school and it dawned on me that she's getting ready also for basketball practice.  I asked her:  "Bev, you do remember dad told you last night no more basketball?"  Oh it finally hit her and she started bawling.  Her father sat her down and explained to her the reasons she won't be allowed to play basketball.  She cried and begged and I felt my heart was ripping out of my chest and yet I knew he was right.  She has to face the consequences of her choices.  We've given her so many chances and she stretched it to the max.  Now she still can't see why she can't play.

Every other member of our family voice their opinions at me as they shake their heads with disapproval when they found out I let her tryout.  All of them don't think she deserves to play basketball after what she had put us through but seeing her so sad, crying and begging just breaks my heart.  It was at the tip of my tongue to stand up against my husband's decision.  I could easily do that but his words rang truth in my ears, "We have to be on the same page to make this work".   So many times chaos comes into our family because we're not on the same page.  Many times I do things against his will and it comes back to just bite me in the butt.  I was going to do it again but something told me to back off.  To allow Beverly to see she can't just walk all over us thinking that she can get away with the bad choices she made after all.  It was hard for both of us and on our way to drop them off, she actually said our morning prayer and she cried while she was praying. I prayed that she might soften her heart and do as she's told.  I pray that she won't do anything stupid and I reminded her before she got out of the car.

Disciplining children sometimes hurts me more then them.  I have to trust my husband's decision on this because he is, after all, the head of the family and the Priesthood holder.  I am not always on the right.  Just last night I see all my children's faces in my mind.  Words can not describe how much I love them all.  From my oldest to my youngest.  "Life is not always a walk in the park", we just need to take it one day at a time.   This day too shall pass and I only cross my fingers that my daughter will have the good sense not to do something stupid like how I usually contemplated in my mind when I was a teenager getting angry with my parents for not allowing me to do everything I wanted.  We all want the best of our children.  That's all. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PJ



10.24.2015  
PJ
About two weeks ago we took in a foster.  His name is PJ.  I’ve given up the idea of having fosters mainly because the last two didn’t work out at all for our family.  But PJ, seems to fit right in from the very start.  The first time I met him I prayed for some kind of excuses to come up so we won’t have him come right away.  Anxiety from being foster parents was kicking in and I didn't really want to take him on.  My husband, on the other hand, after reading his profile wanted to help him.

He’s 16 years old.  Have had some run in with drugs and fights and after a few conversation with him, I realized that he has been to one home after another.  I can’t imagine the impact of being thrown into a family of strangers so suddenly.  No talks of who and where his father is, but his mother had abandoned them and is now living in Michigan.  She had gotten into an accident and was disabled so she’s living with her sister because she couldn’t take care of her kids.  Some of the younger kids has already
been adopted.  PJ lived with his 23 year old sister but she no longer wants him to live with her because she can not take care of him.

My heart breaks for PJ and children like him.  What boggles my mind is why the sister refuse to keep him.  I remember a long time ago when I was a young girl, we were swimming in the Ocean as we always do together as a family.  We didn’t have any life saving jackets and never knew about such things.  We learned how to swim by waddling out to the deep and we taught ourselves how to swim.  As the oldest girl I was always very protective of my young brothers and sisters.  This one particular day, the high tide was coming in and we were making our way towards shore when this one suddenly an extremely powerful current came and swept us further into the deeper part of the Ocean.  My little brother Sione Tuita was right by me.  I was way taller then him then and I knew that if I didn’t grab and hang on to him, he’d be swept deeper into the Ocean and will probably drown. 

As young as I was at that time, probably 9 or 10, I’m always one to remain calm and never panics when danger hits.  I grabbed his shirt and lifted him up making sure that his nose was up in the air so that he can breath.  I walked under the sea with my eyes wide open against the current praying that I won’t be swept into a deeper area.  Also making sure I’m heading towards the shore.  All I wanted to do was protect and take care of my little brother and to make sure he can breath.   It felt like I walked forever under the sea with my brother dangling over my head as I held him up with one hand.  It felt like it took an eternity before the current calmed.  I still remember that day as if it was yesterday.  The situation that Pastor Lewis is in, I would never let that happen to any of my siblings.  I will do everything as long as I’m alive to keep them.  I don’t know what grave situation his sister is in.  She lives alone in a 2 bedroom apartment, she has a car, she works, why can’t she allow him to stay with her.  He cried when he first came to the house.  He didn’t want to leave his sister, but what can he do when she doesn’t want him. 

Every time I look at PJ, I can not help but think about the sister.  I can understand the mother being disabled but the sister is able, I would never do that to any of my brothers or sisters.  We’re all adjusting now and I can say that PJ is already part of our family.  He’s willing to help in everything that we do and when we tell him something to do he does it. We enjoy having him part of our family and he doesn't want to leave.  He's a work in progress.  We love PJ.